One of the biggest blunders of 2013 was the launch of EA’s SimCity reboot. The PC game required an always online Internet connection which the developers at Maxis claimed was due to the game using cloud computing to generate cities in game. It sounded good on paper, but the launch was plagued with connection time outs and various other problems that prevented players from being able to play game they just spent $60 on. Frustrated players demanded an offline mode, but Maxis said it was impossible.
Funny thing – impossible doesn’t mean much when a developer needs to do something to reinvigorate its game.
Maxis announced today that it’s finally adding an offline mode to SimCity. The new mode will be included in what Maxis is calling Update 10. This new mode is in the final phases of development with the hope that the team can get it in the hands of players as soon as possible.
So, what will offline play look like? According to Maxis, it will be the same as online play, but with cities that are saved locally. There’s no word yet on if the offline mode will allow the creation and curation of larger cities. A central complaint of the original game was that cities were much too small, and an offline mode would theoretically allow for the creation of larger cities.
If the offline mode doesn’t bring any major changes to the game, modders will pick up the slack. Maxis originally announced limited mod support in 2012 that would only bring aesthetic changes to the game for fear of breaking the online game. With an offline mode, those modders are now set free to do what they want within the confines of the offline game. As for online game mods, you’ll still have to follow a set of strict rules.
There’s no date for when the offline mode for SimCity just yet, but players shouldn’t have to wait much longer. It sounds like the offline mode is in the final stages of development. If you’re one of the game’s more hardcore players, you may just get early access as Maxis will be making the new mode available to its most dedicated players before launch to test it.
Image via SimCity